Sunday, July 20, 2008

That New Yorker cover

First, an excerpt from Newsweek's Eleanor Clift's most recent column. Then my comments below the star line.

Clift begins - - -

When Democratic strategist Mark Siegel first saw this week's New Yorker cover with Barack Obama in Muslim garb and wife, Michelle, with a huge afro looking like '60s Black Panther activist Angela Davis, he could imagine a million of the satirical images distributed on flyers around the country.

This would not be good for a presidential candidate just now introducing himself to a whole new set of voters who didn't participate in the Democratic primaries, and who have heard little about him beyond the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

It's not The New Yorker's job to elect Obama. Still, what were they thinking? The cartoon cover image pictures the Obamas in the Oval Office with a framed portrait of Osama bin Laden over the mantel and an American flag burning in the fireplace.

If these same depictions appeared on a white supremacist site, the FBI and the Secret Service would monitor the purveyors.

If a conservative magazine like The National Review or The Weekly Standard put these images on their cover, we'd all be outraged, and rightfully so.

The New Yorker expects all of us sophisticates to understand they're poking fun at the politics of fear. A banner headline across the cover saying just that might have lent some clarity to the exercise. Without it, even people familiar with The New Yorker's satirical sensibility were offended.

One reader shared with me this e-mail that she fired off to "Your embarrassing attempt at satire is disgraceful in this climate of fear and ignorance. There is no journalistic freedom to justify this cartoon that could have easily been generated by the merchants of hate and fear and will certainly be used by them to justify their own moronic diatribes against this most American family. Shame on you New Yorker for this blatant attention grabbing exercise!"

The rest of Clift's column's here.



Where has Clift been this past week? There's been a great deal of outrage expressed by many people and organizations. Sen. McCain has spoken out. So have many Independents and Republicans.

And the Dems and their MSM allies have been in loud cry.

The outrage has been so intense the New Yorker editor's been doing more explaining and apologizing than Jesse Jackson.

What Clift and others outraged by the New Yorker cover need to explain is where's their outrage has been all these years cartoonists have caricturtured President Bush as Hitler?

Farenheit 911, Michaal Moore's libel claiming President Bush knew of the impending 911 attacks and did nothing to stop them, didn't provoke any outrage from most liberals and Democrats.

In fact, Moore was seated at the Dems' 2004 national convention in something called "The Honor Box."

When a California Democratic Member of Congress recently said on the House floor that President Bush liked to see soldiers in Iraq get "their heads blown off," I don't recall hearing any outrage from Clift and others among the Dems' MSM media flacks.

We all know what their reation would be if a GOP House Member said their President-presumptive Barack Obama liked to see our troops get "their heads blown off. "

Clift's column is one more example of the double standard that's done so much in recent years to hurt our country.

Hat tip:


Anonymous said...

John: Check out Ronald Kessler's latest piece at He lays out the facts of Saint Obama's very lackluster career as an "agent of change."
Tarheel Hawkeye

JWM said...

To TH,

I may not get to do that.

You've no doubt seen the update and readers alert at the post re: Raddatz-ABC.

Your comment started me down the right road.

Today I've had a number of very useful email exchanges with Raddatz.

I'll be posting on all of that later tonight or tomorrow AM.

So I'll likely not check Kessler because my "do list" is long.

Please let me know you've seen this.

And please know I appreciate your alerting me to the questions with the Raddatz-ABC story.



Anonymous said...

John: I read your comment and will await your popst. One of the things I really respect about you is the fact that you are not a knee-jerk doctrinaire person, and are ready to look at issues in a reasonable fashion.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Eleanor "Let Me Finish" Clift, the hypocritical liberal elite poster gal. If you told her that people could say anything they want because they have the right to free speech, she would take that to mean the right to never be offended by someone else's speech, and write about it for the next thirty years. No wait, she has already done that. But in this article Eleanor, the actress, pundit, author, victimologist, predicts what TV viewers will realize:

"As Europeans clamor to get a glimpse of Obama on his trip next week, voters at home watching those images will realize that much of the damage George W. Bush has done to America's standing around the world would vanish the moment Obama put his hand on the Bible and was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States."

This is her classic image over substance argument, a perfect description of the value of TV, and its effect on the American booboisie.

Anonymous said...

John -

Ms. Clift is one of those feel good types. Oh, it will feel so good if the rapidly disappearing Europeans will like us. Deep thinking was never one of her fortes.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

Socialist Europeans will welcome Obama with open arms. The press in Europe is even more biased than ours. I don’t think regular people there hate us, it the rabid liberals that hate anyone not on their moon-bat level.

There have been tales of the ‘Ugly American’ for decades. The liberals have just put President Bush up as a sacrifice to win the 08 election. If anything concerns me about the next election, it is that the voting public has been handed a false bill-of-goods by the media. How can anyone be an informed voter when the information they receive is orchestrated by dishonest people?

AMac said...

If New Yorker editor David Remnick had had less faith in the ability of his readers to detect satire, he would have insisted that artist Barry Blitt present his cover as a painting on an easel--with a paintbrush-wielding Rush Limbaugh off to the side, sneering.

That way, everyone would have gotten the point that, yes, the p.c. Manhattan-and-Hamptons-centered New Yorker was staying true to its ideals.

The Independent (UK) comments:

--- begin excerpt ---

The picture... was a joke, of course. The cartoon had a name – "The Politics of Fear" – but it was tucked away inside and only the most experienced New Yorker readers would be likely to find it. The point was simply to underline how ludicrous and ignorant the right-wing smears against candidate Obama continue to be. Like any decent cartoon, it was there to make us laugh – and think.

The trouble was, not everyone did laugh... The most common worry was that too many Americans wouldn't get the joke and the fibs about Obama would be given new life.

--- end excerpt ---

The brilliance of Blitt's artwork is that it conflates baseless criticisms of Obama (e.g. "he's a secret Muslim") with genuine ones. This supports the p.c. talking point that all criticisms of Obama amount to no more than fibs.

That's a good description of one pillar of Obama's electoral strategy. For an end-justifes-the-means campaign (aren't they all?), it's an effective way to deal with the aspects of Obama's past that point to his leftism and racialism, and with his many embraces of radical, racist, and corrupt figures throughout his rise to prominence.

Remnick should stop fretting that he missed this accolade. In my book, he and Bliss deserve an "A" for their service to the campaign.